United States to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve attack in UK

United States to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for nerve attack in UK

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home's front door.

Britain was quite happy with the expulsions back in March, and unsurprisingly was quick to endorse the new U.S. sanctions as a "strong worldwide response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury".

A senior U.S. State Department official said later new sanctions would not apply directly to Aeroflot, but could theoretically affect the company if it tried to import any of the goods covered by the sanctions.

However, the department says it will exempt aid to civil society and humanitarian groups and allow exports needed for continued U.S. -Russia cooperation in space.

The US made a similar determination in February when it found that North Korea used a chemical weapon to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017.

British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the USA decision.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the measures "unfriendly" and "unlawful".

Sturgess, 44, died a week after the exposure.

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The sanctions are mandated by a USA law that requires action over the use of chemical and biological weapons-but President Trump maintains significant discretionary power over the degree of that punishment.

US President Donald Trump said in the wake of the attack that "it certainly looks like" Russian Federation was behind it and his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the time that the US had "full confidence" in the UK's investigation and conclusion that Russian Federation was probably culpable.

Russia's embassy in London said they had not received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings. As CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, the new sanctions were announced the same day Republican Sen.

One of the hardest hit was Aeroflot, the Russian state airline, which could lose its ability to fly to the United States as a possible effect of the new sanctions.

Speaking after the State Department announcement, Royce said the administration was "rightly acting to uphold global bans on the use of chemical weapons".

A terse release from the State Department said that the United States had determined Russian responsibility for the attack in Salisbury, England - a British conclusion the administration had already accepted - under a 1991 U.S. law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions. "Such a message might not go down well in Moscow", Prof Cullinane added.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2018, as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.